Variant Title has been added to your shopping cart.    View Cart   or   Checkout Now
  • Check out what is NEW in the Zentangle Store! Learn more about No Mistakes on our blog!
Through a Zentangle Lens

Through a Zentangle Lens

Rick writes:

Here are three fragments of life seen through a Zentangle lens.


We live in an oldish (1875) Victorian home. Some of the windows have the original wrinkled glass. After raising the sash on the window in my office, I noticed that the two right panes were the old glass and the two left panes were modern flat glass. The sun cast shadows on the roof across the street in a way that reminded me of diva dance. 

We introduced this tangle about 10 years (!) ago. You can learn more of its story in this newsletter and see its step out in this newsletter.


Maria showed me this image from a quote of the day email:

After talking about it, we thought that, from a Zentangle perspective, it would read, "Make amazing mistakes glorious."


A few days ago I went outside before bed to look at the full moon. Then I noticed a well-formed "Z" in the sky. As it began to dissolve (the top was as clearly defined as the bottom) I thought to grab a picture. That bright light on the left is the moon.

After people learn to tangle, they often exclaim, "I see patterns!"

How does your world look to you through your Zentangle lens?


Rick Roberts


  • 初めまして。リックさん、素敵な写真と投稿ありがとうございます。私は日本の長野県に住んでいます。つい最近ゼンタングルを知りました。早速本を買って描いています。そして、ゼンタングルのHPも見ています。メールマガジンも登録して楽しく読んでいます。今日はリックさんのブログを読んで自然や自分の周りにゼンタングルのパターンがあることに気づきました。パターンを描くだけでなく、自分の周りの景色の中のパターンを楽しめるようになりたいと思いました。ゼンタングルの面白さが増しました。ありがとうございました。また投稿を楽しみにしています。

    Tomoko on

  • Amazing post and the pics. Yes I do see patterns everywhere. Last year inktober first tangle was #printemps and I saw it in the dosa I was making in the morning. I See the patterns in the pavements and remember # Huggins. Once saw the floor mat swirl design in a friend’s place and took a photo to draw the pattern. Yes it’s part and parcel of everyday life now😁thanks for sharing.

    Ramadevi Srinivasan on

  • I love seeing new patterns and identifying Zentangle patterns in the WILD. While watching a Nat Geo animal show about giraffes last night, I noted that the marking of the Reticulated Giraffe, native to the Horn of Africa, has similar markings to Zentangle pattern Pangea! Enjoying the simple goodness that is Pangea, I found myself in a virtual vortex as I looked up patterns found on other giraffe species that could become Tangelations of Pangea.

    Debbie Thompson on

  • “Glorious!”

    Jeanne on

  • Es tan cierto, el método Zentangke ha cambiado completamente la forma de ver el. Mundo, nos cambia la mirada. Ela pasado fin de semana fui a pasar el día en e San Sebastián (Donosti), y sumergiendome en el agua y solo dejando mi rostro hasta la nariz fuera de ella pude divisar la dansa del diva dance, en perfecta expresión y moviento. No puedo definir la emisión que sentía, esa sensación de adombro y alegría de un niño cuando descubre algo asombroso. Simplemente me hace feliz, gracias Ricky y María, debeis ser conscientes de lo que nos han devuelto. Mil abrazos!

    Egleé Torres Zuleta on

  • I love seeing the Z over your home – like the sky is announcing, “This is where you can find the creators of the Zentangle Method! Here is where you will find unconditional love in the form of tangling!”

    I have seen patterns since I was a little kid and already drawing with whatever tool and paper I could find. Photography classes taught me to look for and take pictures of patterns found in the world, whether natural or made by humans. Digital imaging courses kept that alive and other students would be surprised how my photographs focused on the patterns to the point they could not tell what object I had photographed for the project. I was able to pull at least 20 patterns from a motorcycle in the campus parking lot.

    When I was a period clothing designer and sewer, fabric patterns and textures became important to make an authentic piece of period clothing using modern materials.

    Patterns are everywhere if you just look. Sometimes you have to get close to the source to see the delicate lines and shapes that make the pattern of a large object. I suggest to all my fellow tanglers to always have your phone’s camera ready to capture all the incredible patterns in the world!

    Sending my love to the Zentangle Family and all the tanglers in the world who are part of my tangle family!

    bakayaro onna (Debbie Smith) CZT38 on

  • So many patterns the world over. Just open your eyes and they are everywhere!

    Sue Leslie on

  • Great post of observations, and yes I find myself talking in two languages now, (which is pretty impressive for the totally non linguistic person that I am), my first language, and Zentomology!

    ildica Boyd on

  • Thanks for this, Rick & Maria.
    After studying Zentangle painting, I will tell my students to open up their five senses.
    Whether they are traveling or living, they will observe the surrounding environment and beautiful scenery……. ,
    there are surprises of Zentangle painting everywhere!!!!

    李玉玲(Sara Lee) on

  • The only drawback that I can see with discovering Zentangle is that I am now so aware of how many patterns there are to see in nature, fabrics, tiles – yet what a special problem to have! So grateful for every stepout created by amazing artists, every beautiful post to Mosaic, every additional Project Pack…oh, my! A rich abundance or possibilities!

    Mary Lindeblad on

  • My Zentangle lens come full tilt when I am grounded and relaxed. I think, it’s only during those moments that I’m ‘open’ to seeing different perspectives. Call it Zentangle-dreaming (instead of day dreaming). It has occurred inside, holding my young granddaughter as she falls asleep- her blanket folds look mesmerizing; it has occurred outside, feeling the wind rush against me face as I see leaves that seem to change their shape. Thank you for opening my eyes.

    Nancy Needler on

  • Even the basis of life is a pattern…think the division of one cell into two within the egg, then four, then eight…patterns all leading to more and more. Nature expresses herself in myriad tangle patterns. Its glorious! I think too, that the magic of mathematics is the foundation as we see in the Golden Ratio, frequencies, harmonics etc.

    Pattern (and Zentangle) is a love affair!

    Vivian on

  • I love the photo of the old glass and the new glass. Some old things are so intriguing. I am so much more award of patterns now and enjoying photographing them when I can so I remember them when tangling.

    Joyce Rosenberger on

  • It’s not just tangles that I see when looking about. I even see strings within which I can tangle. I also love textured glass, and I sometimes play with it as a glass artist too!

    Catherine Gisby on

  • Zentangle patterns show up in all kinds of places! Other patterns are all around, just takes the heightened awareness of tangling to discover them.

    Ann Baum on

  • When I first was learning about Zentangle I started to focus on the many patterns in nature. Amazing how many are out there. Then I decided I could not watch for those patterns and drive too ….before I accidentally go off the road. Now and then I catch myself telling a friend when we are somewhere,someplace,hay that is a Zentangle pattern!

    Marilyn Iezzi on

  • 1) We were redecorating a long wall in our living room. We choose a white wallpaper with black loopy lines on it. My then 4yr old daughter came in, saw the wall and wondered loudly: “Now why do we have a tangled wall?!” Yes, she already saw tangles in the pattern 😁
    2) I loved the exercise as homework during the summer seminar in 2012 to make a tangle out of patterns or prints we see around us. I still love to make tangles from intricate patterns I see around me 😁

    ArjadLH, CZT9 on

  • So many patterns in our lives. I thought I would go crazy in Porto several years ago with all the tile. It’s everywhere. And then I walked into my hotel room and there was a chair upholstered in Mooka. Thanks for the column, Rick, especially the roof’s wonderful Diva Dance.

    Tommye Morrison on

  • Some 15 years ago or so I purchased this gorgeous 13′×11′ area rug for my living room that I still treasure to this day.. I found it (or maybe it found me) while shopping for living room furniture and I immediately fell in love with the color and especially the unique swirls and shapes. Then in 2018 I stumble across the world of Zentangle.. become so immersed in the magic of this artform I book a plane ticket to Rhode Island and the rest is history as the saying goes… back to my rug. I come home and look at my rug and realize that I was in love with Zentangle before I was even enlightened to it’s art form as my rug is literally a Zentangle masterpiece! I would love to share a picture of it if anyone would like to see!

    Linda Hunter CZT 31 on

  • my current inspiration is a quote at my desk in bold colors…" Be Brave Enough To Be Bad At Something New" like throwing paimt on a white sheet to take away to ‘fear of the white’ – this quote makes me laugh and gives me encouragement to try and to know that failure has its own rewards of learning.

    Ruth Dailey on

  • We went on Alaskan cruise last week. As we were pulling into the dock to depart after a glorious week, I was standing at the stern of the boat, and watch the rippling patterns left by the boat and the steel calm waters. And again there’s a pattern!

    Lise Orwig on

  • Love this post! The glass in the windows of my childhood home were also wavy, so I know exactly what it’s like! I have always seen patterns everywhere. Ever since I was a child and started exploring our world. My sisters and I would lie on the ground and find patterns in the clouds, or in the leaves, grass, reeds, stones, creekbeds, of the fields around us. In raindrops on windows, in snowflakes, ice chrystals, thru tears, or squinted eyes, etc! Geometric cityscapes or, natural, plants, trees, flowers, rock formations, fossils, quilts, textiles, needlework, ceramics, even the patterns found in animals’ skins and coats, their natural camouflage! Zentangle has reawakened that childish wonder, and given me a sharper lens through which to focus the images that surround me into artwork that helps others see them too. Thank you for this lovely post! “It restoreth my soul…”

    Jessica Dykes on

  • Taking an early morning walk at the beach, I noticed a beach vehicle had been by, leaving his tire tracks in the sand. The first thing I thought: Oh, look, a Zentangle pattern.

    Judy on

  • I now also notice patterns everywhere as well…some of which I recognize as current Zentangle patterns and think “that’s cool….its’ the _________ pattern” and others I look at and try to figure out the easiest way to create them! Since starting to do Zentangle I look at the world a little differently….first it was an outlet for me during Covid, lock down etc., and a way to keep my mental state healthy, and now it’s pure joy to be able to draw and its essential to keeping me healthy and happy. Thank you Zentangle, so very glad I found you.

    Dianne on

  • Love the photo through the window! We also live in an old home that had a fire in the basement burning through the floor. One of the original windows wasn’t replace but was melted a bit and serviceable. Our kids loved to go outside and look in at each other’s ‘fun house’ faces. Now I see perfectly glorious images to tangle. ❤️

    Kathy Y. on

Leave a comment